We’ve been making waves while the sun shines. The last two days have taken us into Nottingham, mooring up outside Sainsbury’s. Not long days, more in the way of earlier starts.
Back to yesterday morning and the alarm went off at around 06:00…
That’s the problem with mooring near the flight path from East Midlands Airport!
We weren’t off early enough to beat the queue at Kegworth New (formerly Deep) Lock, there were a pair of boats ahead of us, with another one waiting to come up, and the 10’ deep lock is pretty slow to fill.
The old lock was a lot shallower till flood alleviation work reduced the level below the lock by about 5 feet, leaving it high and dry. The new lock was built in the 1980’s as part of the scheme, and the next one down became a flood lock.
The old one lies alongside, preserved but filled in for safety.
The new, deep one has had it’s moments, though…
That’s when the rudder gets hooked-up on the cill as the lock empties. If you notice quickly enough you may get away with just a dry dock job. If you don’t there may be a tragedy…
Leaving Kegworth New Lock
There’s a blind right-hand bend just before Kegworth Road Bridge…
…which takes you to Kegworth Flood Lock.
The flood locks at Pillings, Kegworth and Redhill are all normally left open in the summer, unless the weather is exceptionally wet. During the winter months they’re used as conventional locks.
It’s only about a mile to Ratcliffe Lock, and we caught up with the queue again here.
There was a wide-beam ahead somewhere, which slowed things down, and another boat had joined the convoy as well. It took a while to get through, another wide beam was coming up and the owner was a little precious. The top paddles had to only be opened half-way…
But we were through eventually, past Redhill Marina, through the final flood lock and out onto the wide waters of the Trent.
Only for a short while, though. We turned right onto Cranfleet Cut and moored up for the rest of the day.
I got the last top coat on the cratch panel, this one on the inside. A couple of days now for the paint to harden off a bit, then I’ll strip the glass out of the old one and fit it into the replacement before installing it.
This morning we were away soon after 9, down Cranfleet Cut to Cranfleet Lock.
I think the coconut matting bank-reinforcement rolls are supposed to be in place before they start sprouting!
We filled with water above Cranfleet Lock. Well, nearly. Another boat was spotted coming down the long straight, so I readied the lock and turned off the tap when we were set to go in.
The original peaked-roof buildings alongside the lock were the lock-keepers house and a stable. The ramp up to the second storey leads up to what was the hay-loft.
Below the lock and out onto Trent
Ooh look, firewood!
It’s wise to keep left at Barton Island, the right hand is extremely shallow
About 40 minutes after leaving Cranfleet Lock we approached Beeston Lock and the canal route through Nottingham.
Beeston Lock in the centre, large weir to the right.
With the river levels low, there was only a few inches to drop down onto the Beeston Cut.
The navigation now takes a 5 mile diversion away from the river, first on the Beeston Cut, then on the Nottingham Canal. The latter canal was opened in 1796, connecting the city with the Erewash and Cromford Canals at the Great Northern Basin, with the intention of fetching coal in from the Nottinghamshire coalfields without having to use the Erewash and the Trent.
Concurrent with the construction of the Nottingham Canal, the short Beeston Cut was built, joining the Nottingham at Lenton and the River Trent at Beeston. This meant the treacherous and often impassable section of river to the east was effectively by-passed.
We had a brief encounter with Maggie on Forever Young as we headed up the Cut. Only time for a quick “hello, how are you?” as we passed in opposite directions.
Two miles or so below Beeston Lock the Cut joins the Nottingham Canal at Lenton Chain, once the site of an actual chain across the navigation to prevent passage of boats trying to avoid paying tolls.
The junction was somewhere around here, but you wouldn’t know it.
Like all but the top couple of hundred yards of the northern section, it’s been filled in. The saving grace for the southern section through Nottingham is it’s use as part of the Trent navigation.
Passing Nottingham Castle Marina we started to look for a mooring, pulling in just short of Sainsbury’s supermarket, lurking in the bushes alongside the towpath.
Quite a bit of space here when we pulled in, but it’s filled up now.
I had to make a visit to the bank while we were here, so set off to the town centre, passing the castle…
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, claimed to be the oldest inn in England…
and the Old Market Square, where kids were enjoying a funfair and the cooling waters of the fountain.
Had to take this one for Mags, she used to be a clippie on the trams in Manchester!
Further downriver tomorrow.
Locks 4, miles 11½